Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Special offer for Diplomats of Dance!

We have secured a block of tickets for the Diplomats of Dance Society for opening night of Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company’s “Potraits” at the Kennedy Center. Great opportunity to see these unique dance works, each created during Burgess’ historic residency at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, performed on a proscenium stage! 



A captured moment from “I Am Vertical”, inspired by the Sylvia Plath: One Life exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Photo by Jeff Malet. 

The dances, I am VerticalAfter 1001 Nights, and Confluence exemplify Burgess's sublime choreography which poetically delves into the emotional terrain of our shared humanity. Burgess has been called "not only a Washington prize but a national treasure" by the Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Sarah Kaufman.

Please email us at dancediplomats@gmail.com ASAP to secure yours! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Don't Miss: Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company Presents "Portraits" at Kennedy Center June 15th and 16th, 7:30pm

The first-ever resident dance company at the Smithsonian presents three new dances created at the National Portrait Gallery during Burgess's residency as the Smithsonian Institution's first official choreographer. The dances, I am Vertical, After 1001 Nights, and Confluence exemplify Burgess's sublime choreography which poetically delves into the emotional terrain of our shared humanity. Burgess has been called "not only a Washington prize but a national treasure" by the Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Sarah Kaufman.


Photo by Jeff Watts

Monday, June 4, 2018

Ellen Kwatnsoski: Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company — 25 Years of Delighting Audiences in Washington and Around the World

The company rehearsing. Photo courtesy of EllenKwatnoski.com.
Take the time to read author Ellen Kwatnoski's recent blog about her impressions of Dana’s artistic process and direction, plus recent work as the Smithsonian's first-ever choreographer-in-residence, creating works inspired by National Portrait Gallery exhibitions on subjects like poet Sylvia Plath, as DTSBDC company members rehearse for their upcoming June 15-16 performance at the Kennedy Center:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DANA TAI SOON BURGESS to be awarded the 2018 Paul Ré Peace Prize by the University of New Mexico Foundation

DANA TAI SOON BURGESS will be awarded the 2018 Paul Ré Peace Prize by the University of New Mexico Foundation for bridging communities around the globe through choreography.


We are currently in Dana's hometown of Santa Fe and heading to Albuquerque tomorrow, May 24th, where Dana will receive the award, which traditionally acknowledges those who can bridge the arts and sciences to promote peace. His breath-taking work in collaboration with NASA, We choose to go to the moon, which featured interviews with famed astronaut Bruce McCandless, space scientists, as well as a special New Mexican medicine woman as part of the soundscore, is an example of how he not only bridges cultures through movement and storytelling, but also schools of thought.

From the UNM News Desk:

"The winner of the 2018 Peace Prize in the general category will be Dana Tai Soon Burgess for his work as an acclaimed choreographer, performance artist, and cultural figure.
...
Burgess promotes peace and harmony through his art form of dance and his beautiful, innovative choreography. For 25 years, he has worked on projects across the globe as a teacher and a performer engaging audiences and forming friendships around the world. He believes that finding connections between cultures and artists is a key to peace and diplomacy."

Sunday, May 20, 2018

See "Portraits" at the Kennedy Center June 15th and 16th

A scene from DTSBDC's I Am Vertical at the National Portrait Gallery, inspired by
the "Sylvia Plath: One Life" exhibition there.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company made history recently as the Smithsonian Institution's first dance company in residence, creating dynamic dance works from exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery. 

On June 15th and 16th at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the company presents three new dances created at the National Portrait Gallery during Burgess's residency as the Smithsonian Institution's first official choreographer.

The dances, I am Vertical, After 1001 Nights, and Confluence exemplify Burgess's sublime choreography which poetically delves into the emotional terrain of our shared humanity.

Burgess has been called "not only a Washington prize but a national treasure" by the Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Sarah Kaufman.

 Click here to purchase tickets. Space is limited.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Recap: Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company at the National Portrait Gallery, Portraits of the World

DTSBDC Dancers


DTSBDC dancer Joan Ayap performing "Khaybet"
In March, the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company held a special dance salon series at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery this past month! Performed by dancers Ian Ceccarelli, Sarh Halzack, Ryan Carlough, Felipe Oyarzun, Joan Ayap, Christine Doyle, Christin Arthur, Sidney Hampton, and associate artistic director Kelly Moss Southall, the group showcased a combination of new and old dances inspired by the portraits in the gallery. 

DTSBDC dancer Sarah Halzack performing Michio Ito's "Ave Maria" and "Khaybet"

The first three dances, "Pizzicatti", "Ave Maria", "Tone Poem I" and "Tone Poem II" were originally choreographed in the early 1900's by Michio Ito, an early pioneer in modern dance and the first Asian American choreographer. He was forcefully incarcerated during World War II under Executive Order 9066 at an internment camp in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The portrait "Femme en Extasse"
The next piece "For Giulia" was choreographed by Burgess for the exhibition of "Femme en Extasse" by the Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler, which is on loan in partnership with the Swiss Embassy. "Femme en Extasse" is a portrait of Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi, which is on loan in partnership with the Swiss Embassy in the United States. The dance company was honored to have the Swiss Ambassador Martin Dahinden introduce the first lecture-performance on March 3rd.

The last three dances - "Confluence", inspired by a gelatin silver print of Doris Humphrey by Barbara Morgan in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection, "Khaybet" inspired by Burgess' touring through the mountain villages between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and "Dariush" inspired by his trip through the Khyber Pass in upper Pakistan - were previously choreographed by Burgess, and powerful additions to the program.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess is the Smithsonian's first choreographer in residence, currently creating new works inspired by dynamic exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery. A portrait of Burgess by artist CYJO is part of the Gallery's permanent collection.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company at NPG: a unique modern dance salon inspired by modern art


DTSBDC performing at the National Portrait Gallery
Join Diplomats of Dance this Saturday, March 17th at 4 pm at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in downtown Washington, DC for a special program with Dana Tai Soon Burgess, his amazing dancers, and modern works of dance and visual art...

Where: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 2nd Floor
When: 4:00 pm

The Diplomats of Dance Society will host a talkback with Burgess and dancers following the program in the NPG's Courtyard Cafe.

Please RSVP to dancediplomats@gmail.com. The dance salon is a free program and open to the public.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company dancers. Photo by Jeff Watts.
From The Georgetowner:
Celebrating its 25th year, the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company presents a series of free salons in the new international gallery at the National Portrait Gallery, where Burgess is the Smithsonian’s first choreographer-in-residence. Each salon features a dance performance and discussion.

Swiss Ambassador Martin Dahinden was the honored guest March 3 at the gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “Portraits of the World: Switzerland” (on view through Nov. 12) as the company performed dance excerpts that included “For Giulia,” inspired by Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler’s portrait of Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi, “Femme en Extase” (Woman in Ecstasy), on loan in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland.

Dance company members performed excerpts from “Confluence,” one of the company’s new dances inspired by the National Portrait Gallery collection, as well as rarely seen solo dances by choreographer Michio Ito. The series grows out of a long tradition of salons in which dance is performed and discussed in intimate settings.

Portraits of modern dance pioneers, including Martha Graham, Michio Ito, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, are also on view in the gallery.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Donate to Dana's Birthday Fundraiser

Please support DTSBDC's very special 25th Anniversary Season with a donation in honor of Dana Tai Soon Burgess' birthday! Any amount is a major gift and supports the dancers and the creation of new work! Thank you! Please Donate Here.

https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/danas-birthday-fundraiser-for-dtsbdcs-25th-anniversary/dtsbdc?modified=1
From Dana: I love making dances and am so appreciative of the friends and dance family that have sustained the work of DTSBDC for 25 years. For my 50th birthday, I would so appreciate a gift that would support our dancers and creative team. Thank you so much.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Join us to Watch Dance-Making for "The Face of Battle" with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Co. at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Publicity photo for "After 1001 Night" by Jeff Watts
RSVP to watch dancers rehearse for the upcoming performance of "After 1001 Nights", inspired by the emotional National Portrait Gallery exhibition "The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now", currently on display at the museum. Dana Tai Soon Burgess is the Smithsonian’s first choreographer-in-residence. The public rehearsal will take place in “Face of Battle: Americans at War 9/11 to Now”; Louie Palu room. Join the Diplomats of Dance Society at 1:00pm in the lobby on F Street to tour the exhibition, watch the rehearsal, and have some refreshments while speaking one on one with Dana and the dancers afterward in the National Portrait Gallery's Courtyard Cafe.

Click here to RSVP now! Space is limited!

The premiere of the final performance will be on Saturday, July 8th, 2pm and 4pm in the museum's Kogod Courtyard.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Conversation, Dance and a Book Signing for DTSBDC at the Arts Club

Last night, the Arts Club of Washington hosted a talk-back with DTSBDC Board President Bonnie Kogod and Dana Tai Soon Burgess, featuring excerpts of the recent dances created from exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, where Dana is the first-ever choreographer in residence. It was stirring and wonderful by all accounts! The audience was engaged about the history-making artistic residency, and we look forward to seeing them on July 8th in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard of the museum!

Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Bonnie Kogod

DTSBDC dancers performing an exerpt from a recent work by Burgess

Image from Matailong Du's book, DTSBDC@25
Dana and artist Matailong Du had a book signing event with National Portrait Gallery historian Amy Henderson at the Arts Club of Washington​l. The book, DTSBDC@25, comes from photographs by Matailong that document Dana's creating process on the first dance, "Margin", that he created at National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution after being named choreographer in residence. Please contact DTSBDC if you want a copy. Dana's next project "After 1001 Nights" will be premiering on July 8th, 2017, with open rehearsals in June, at the National Portrait Gallery. (Event photos by Wanyu Zhang)

Matailong Du, Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Amy Henderson

Matailong Du with DTSBDC@25

Friday, May 5, 2017

Take a watch: Smithsonian's first-ever choreographer in residence

Watch these two short videos about Dana Tai Soon Burgess and his role as the Smithsonian's first-ever choreographer in residence, creating new works with his dancers and team inspired by intriguing exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery!




Friday, April 21, 2017

Opening Reception of "Artistry Portrayed: Photographs of DTSBDC's 'Margin'"

Photograph by artist Matailong Du ("Duma") of the production of DTSBDC's "Margin" in October 2016.

Join us for the opening reception of "Artistry Portrayed" and see photographs by Corcoran School School of the Arts and Design student Matailong Du (MA, New Media Photojournalism) that artfully document the production of "Margin", a dance performed by the internationally renowned Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in October 2016, where six portraits from the Outwin 2016 exhibition were transformed into dance.

When: Tuesday May 2nd, 5-7pm
Where: Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, 805 21st Street NW, 2nd floor
RSVP here

Friday, March 3, 2017

Behind the Scenes With DTSBDC: Join us for an open rehearsal!

Dana Tai Soon Burgess and dancers rehearsing in studio.

Join the Diplomats of Dance Society on Saturday, March 11th, to observe Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Conpany in rehearsal as they prepare for an upcoming tour to New Mexico. This behind-the-scenes event will be held at the dance studio at Georgetown Day School (4200 Davenport Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, visit http://dtsbdc.org.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company recently made history by being named the Smithsonian's first-ever resident dance company at the National Portrait Gallery. As Washington's main modern dance organization, they have a unique movement aesthetic that incorporates multiple artistic disciplines into their shows and work. Their all-original modern dance works tell stories that cross the barriers of time and culture. Dana Tai Soon Burgess's internationally renowned choreography is empathetic to our universal human condition. He has been called the "poet laureate of Washington dance" and described as a "national dance treasure" by the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Sarah Kaufman.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

DTSBDC Dance and Movement Classes at Glen Echo Park


Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC) will present a variety of classes at Glen Echo Park! The classes will be infused with the unique 'movement vocabulary' that founder and choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess has developed over two decades as a critically acclaimed and internationally renowned choreographer. DTSBDC, now in entering its 25th season, is the preeminient contemporary dance company of the Washington D.C. region.

Artistic Director and choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess has been awarded multiple honors including the Mayor's Art Award, two Senior Fulbrights, the Pola Nirenska Award and seven Metro D.C. Dance Awards. The company has toured around the world as a U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy to represent the United States abroad. DTSBDC also tours nationally and has performed at the White House at the invitation of the President and First Lady Obama. Most recently, DTSBDC made history as the first dance company to be in residence at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

As a contemporary modern dance company, DTSBDC teachers are offering dance classes to teens and adults in the many styles of dance that are incorporated in Mr. Burgess' unique style of movement.


On Thursday, January 5th, the #DiplomatsOfDance host committee joined for Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company's first 'Stretch and Strength' class of 2017 taught by dancer Ben Sanders, a unique class that builds strength and flexibility while protecting joints and muscles. It was marvelous!

Register now for a variety of dance classes at http://glenechopark.org/dtsbdc!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Monday, July 25, 2016

Diplomats of Dance to host cocktail hour following DTSBDC's Asian American performance lecture series in August!

Photo from Burgess' 2009 premiere of "Island". Copyright Mary Noble Ours.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, Washington, DC’s premiere modern dance company, performs excerpts from its critically acclaimed dances that highlight the Asian American Diaspora in the Mead Theatre Lab at CulturalDC's Flashpoint in DC's Chinatown. Each work is contextualized historically by Asian American scholars, who will be present each evening.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC) will be at Flashpoint Gallery’s Mead TheatreLab on Aug. 12-13 and 19-20 at 7pm as part of a free performance/lecture series focused on the company’s Asian-American-themed pieces including excerpts from “ChinoLatino,” “Charlie Chan and The Mystery of Love,” “Hyphen,” “Becoming American,” “Tracings” and “Island.” Post-performance panel discussions will feature DTSBDC founder and artistic director Burgess; journalist and author Jenny Chen; and Asian-American activist and philanthropist Rosetta Lai. CulturalDC's Flashpoint is located at 916 G Street, N.W.

All four evenings have sold out.

For those who have already reserved seating at any of the four  evenings, the Diplomats of Dance Society will host a cocktail hour at nearby Asia Nine restaurant each night following the performance-lectures. Please email dancediplomats@gmail.com to RSVP.